TCS Daily

The Battle for the Mosque Broadens and Deepens

By Stephen Schwartz - March 9, 2007 12:00 AM

At the launching of the Center for Islamic Pluralism (CIP) two years ago, TCSDaily was one of the media institutions most supportive to our work, and I have therefore chosen this venue to present a balance sheet of CIP's activities in promoting moderate Islam.

We have enjoyed significant success. But some notable obstacles remain before us. These include the vulnerability of mainstream media and even Western governments to the claims of Islamic radicals to stand as the sole representatives of the faith, and the corruption of academics that legitimize this charade.

But we also must deal with serious challenges inside the Western Muslim community. First, U.S. and UK Sunni Muslims are completely dominated by extremists - Saudi-backed Wahhabis in the first case and Pakistani-controlled jihadists in the second. Canada, which I recently visited for a series of lectures, represents an important exception to this pattern, as discussed here.

Second, Sunnis in general are taught conformity to their leadership, and stirring them to reject the radicals who exploit them is a major task.

Third, while a great number of Shia Muslims in the U.S. and Canada, with their clerics and mosques, are less orthodox in their attitudes, and sympathize with CIP against Saudi-backed Sunni terror, they are often tainted by an attraction to Iran and Hezbollah, which makes it impossible for us to sustain a cooperative effort with them. We maintain formal relations with Iraqi Shia leaders out of concern for the situation in their country, where U.S.-led coalition troops are present in the front lines for freedom. If we enlisted all the Shias on this side of the Atlantic who express warmth toward us, CIP might quickly become one of the largest Muslim organizations in North America. But before such a development can take place, Hezbollah must be curbed in Lebanon and Ahmadinejad removed from power in Teheran - the latter as a first step toward complete dismantling of the Iranian clerical regime.

Nevertheless, we have made progress. In the U.S. the CIP profile as a resource on moderate Islam has risen; we have cosponsored major events with the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington, participated in numerous international conferences and consultations, and gained relatively wide media attention. We have created a branch in England, with the noted Muslim scholar and expert on Islamic cultural heritage, Dr. Irfan al-Alawi, as our new international director for development, and are launching a second website there, with sections in Arabic and Farsi.

We are also strengthening our presence in Canada. Our Canadian representation has been crucial from the beginning. Our Canadian director, Salim Mansur, is a professor at the University of Western Ontario and newspaper columnist. Further, professor Khaleel Mohammed of San Diego State University, our Pacific Coast director and main expert on theological issues, is a Canadian citizen. Finally, our first Fellow, Imaad Malik, is also of Canadian origin and was a student of professor Mansur. Others have commented that Canada is a center of Western Muslim dissenters favoring Western democracy and social reform in the Muslim world.

CIP operates vertically and horizontally - that is, while we seek to organize Muslims at all levels to resist extremism, we have also sought extensive contacts and collaboration across borders. We have enjoyed firm support from the Bosnian Muslim clergy and Sufi shaykhs in the Albanian lands. We have begun mentoring Alevi Muslims of Turkish and Kurdish origin in Germany - a community of hundreds of thousands of genuinely enlightened believers who combine Sufi spirituality with a vision of social justice and secular governance. We have significant contacts among Muslims in Turkey itself, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. And most importantly, as anybody who examines our sites will find, we have a substantial group of supporters inside Saudi Arabia.

When CIP was inaugurated, we pledged a fight to take back the Sunni mosques, which bring together the great majority of Western Muslims, from the radicals. But after several years' activism and debate some of us have come to the conclusion that it is more pressing and fruitful, at this point, to concentrate on recruiting moderate members of the worldwide Muslim clerical and intellectual elite. It may well be that in one of many parallels with the end of Soviet Communism, the undoing of radical Islam may come from the top rather than from below. While Polish Solidarity and other mass protest movements played a major role in undermining the Soviet empire, the final blow was delivered from Moscow itself. Once Russian funding for international Communism was cut off, the global Communist network deflated like a balloon. If Saudi King Abdullah, who has commenced a reform course, is successful in breaking the links between the monarchy and Wahhabism, and the Iranian clerical system is abolished - outcomes that are both possible by peaceful means - the threat of radical Islam may diminish quickly.

For these reasons, our enhanced international outreach represents a new stage in CIP's agenda of responsibilities. We hope to supplement our U.S. and UK websites with sites in Kuwait and Kuala Lumpur, and to cosponsor conferences with universities in Europe and Asia. Our struggle is arduous. We must convince Muslim leaders as well as ordinary believers to prove that Islam is indeed a religion of peace; we must help allay the fears of non-Muslims who see Islam as a permanent threat; we must work to restore theological balance in Islam while helping train a new generation of Muslim thinkers, writers, and other intellectuals.

I would conclude with an intentional paradox I often propose to American Muslims: that Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., although a Christian preacher, was closer to the heart of Islam than Malcolm X, who actually became Muslim. Malcolm X's career was enacted in Harlem, where he was safe except from enemies in the ranks of his former brethren, but Dr. King worked in the Deep South, under conditions of brutal racist terrorism that were close to real fascism. Malcolm X mobilized followers who had long verbalized their discontent, and who had gained public legitimacy for their alienation among the white liberals and radicals of New York, while Dr. King appealed to the most downtrodden, intimidated, isolated, and voiceless people in America. And finally, Dr. King followed the precepts of Islam in putting the interests of vulnerable families and other members of his community first, in all his work. He would not countenance radical rhetoric or a surrender to rage.

We believe, as a principle of mainstream Islam, that the essence of our faith is to control one's anger. While none of us would dare to compare ourselves with Dr. King, our mission resembles his in one major aspect. Like him, we are called to organize people long crushed, ignored, denied their rights within their mosques, and forced into acquiescence to injustice. This condition, imposed on them by the radical Islamist establishment, is much like that of ordinary Blacks in the American South before the victory of the civil rights movement. That, and nothing else, explains the "Muslim silence" about extremism that so many non-Muslims self-righteously denounce.

The Center for Islamic Pluralism struggles for the rights of Muslims within Islam. Our conscience is clear and our commitment is strong. We believe firmly that moderate Islam, global democracy, and interfaith cooperation will prevail against extremism, corruption, and hate. Above all, we are grateful to our donors and our friends in media, who have provided us with an irreplaceable credibility and made our first two years' work satisfying and promising for the future.



Not so about Canada ...
There is strong persecution of moderate Muslims in Canadian mosques as shown by the following video clips from CBC's The National. It is a refreshingly forthright examination of how Canadian mosques are controlled by jihadists who make peaceful Muslims know they are unwelcome. Two parts. Links here:

Also, when Muslim women opposed the imposition of shari'a law, it was Mr. Schwartz here who opposed them and fought them and wrote against them. Here is his article, from his own website. In it Mr. Schwartz claims that the imposition of shari'a law on Canadian Muslims women continues some proud tradition of religious freedom. What it would do is destroy the freedom of Canadian women, making them even more subject to the kind of harassment and control shown in The National clips above. The first and foremost victims of radical Islam, and shari'a law in general, are always women, and the control of women by Muslim men -- for sex, work, and ego -- is a chief selling point when recruiting. Mr. Schwartz's own organization has no female Muslim members on its board and no female speakers at its events and no female Muslim writers.

How can any Muslim claim to be a moderate who will not stand up for women's rights in Islam? According to Dr. Daniel Pipes and many other commentators the MOST BASIC definition of a moderate Muslim is that they do NOT support the imposition of shari'a law anywhere.

And we note with sadness that Mr. Schwartz was NOT part of the Secular Islam Summit in St. Petersburg last weekend. We expected him to be there.

So we have one question. According to Mr. Schwartz are those there trying to create in America a new kind of Islamic training for young people -- one that teaches respect for Christians, Jews, women, and all religious and racial minorities -- apostates? Are they traitors?

Or are the traitors those Muslims who will not take up hard issues and who support the imposition of shari'a law in Canada, in Basra, and elsewhere?

Interesting counter-points
the real question is this: can Islamic extremism ever be thwarted within the religion?

Extremely difficult:

There are so many problems with this concept, one doesn't know where to start:

(1) Any moderate who speaks out against Wahhabi, Taliban, Khomenite Twelver Shi'sm (cum politics, usually verboted in Shi'ism) will be declared an apostate, despite the fact they are not. In the films, links for which I provided above, the guy running down the "secular" Muslims is obviously sporting a Wahhabi bear and Wahhabi dress, as is his subjugated wife, who is now feeling very "spiritual superior" to other women.

(2) Most "moderates" are scared of dealing with the women's issue at all and will give no help to the feminist gender-just hermenutics being attempted. They do not include women (as Schwartz doesn't) in their organizations and have no intention of bucking the rank chauvinism that is the hallmark of bad Islamic models. They know if they do, they will come under incredible attack from radical organizations. They will also run up against the chauvinists even in so-called moderate Islam, who hold their control over women very dear to their hearts. In doing so, however, their silence consent to continued abuse of women worldwide in Islam, and enables the incarceration, beating, marital rape, controlled marriages and divorce and child custody. I do not call such people moderates. They are fundamentalist enablers, and enablers of militant Islam as it continues to sell itself to men on the basis that Islamic imams openly say women are defective, raw meat if they do not wear cover, and are to be beaten if they disobey a man. Any Muslim cannot speak out against imams who say this, who never speak up about it and deflect every question on the subject, are neutered, at best, in their attempt to control the spread of Wahhabi philosophy. And untapped remains the tremendous force for moderation that lies in release of women from this travesty.

(3) Moderates who don't speak out about the issues of women in Islam, who do not OPENLY embrace the kinds of Muslims that appear in the films I have linked -- those adamantly opposed to the imposition of shari'a in Canada and elsewhere, those who openly espouse a separation of church and state -- are obviously on the other side, no matter they are proclaiming.

And those who say that women are too "shrill" about it should spend a year as a woman in Pakistan, and then preach to Muslim women that shari'a is good for them and tell us why it's just fine to allow shari'a to creep into American society (as the people in Dearborn are now trying to do) as well as Canada.

The two questions to ask are:

(1) Do men gain from the imposition of shari'a law?
(2) Do women lose in the imposition of shari'a law?

The answer to both questions is yes, which is why radical imams why radical imams want it imposed and why so-called moderates SUPPORT IT. Such moderates may rail against Wahhabism in public, but the net effect of their work is that they help to spread it.

Thank you
I do not know much about the inner workings of Islam and how these issues relate to actual Muslim lives.

Thank you for a little insight into the issue.

This has always been one of my concerns
This issue is one of the many reasons why I have never felt any optimism whatsoever regarding inroads made by 'moderate' Muslims.

As far as I have ever been able to tell, the only 'moderate' Muslim is a 'lax' Muslim - ie one who simply does not fundamentally adhere to every tenet of the religion, much like many 'lax' Christians.

From all appearances, the problems are inherent within Islam itself. While it's undoubtedly true that the vile and egregious wahabbism shoved into the world by the saudis and others is reprehensible to any civilized human being, it would not be possible at all if the kernels of it did not already exist within the religion to begin with.

It is at this point, of course, that the valiant defenders of Islam jump in to loudly decry Christianity during the Crusades and the Inquisition. The elementary flaw in this reasoning that there was absolutely nothing INHERENT in Christianity to engender those events; they were entirely man-created. This is unlike Islam, which has within even its core original writings many of the commandments which are repeated today to excuse the most barbaric and unacceptable behavior. When mohammed himself writes that, on his little sojourn to hell, he saw ten times more women entering than men, you know the cause is inherent.

Your own posts only serve to highlight the problem. It seems clear that the solution to the problem is never going to come from forces within Islam, but from external forces, whatever they may be. Hopefully this will take the form of some kind of 'social revolution' exerting force on the religion - the world is populated by more women than muslims, after all, and if a strong concerted effort were made, and the harsh light of reality shined on this misogynistic travesty, then perhaps it can all settle into some kind of peaceful resolution.

I shudder to think of what may ultimately happen if this poison is not stopped before the rest of the world reaches a 'breaking point'. The phrase 'rivers of blood' will probably not do it justice.

"essence of our faith is to control one's anger"
I thought the essence of Islam was to submit to God?

If you believe the essence of your faith is to control your anger, then I believe Islam has failed miserably. And we are all suffering for that failure now.

Maybe if you could find in your holy book the same concept that Dr. King found in his Holy Book, love. Jesus, who IS a prophet in Islam, did command us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Love is what made Dr. King successful. He did not express hate for his enemies.

And as for blacks in the south during the civil rights movement, I believe they were all fairly united in their cause against oppression.

A more apt comparison to Islam today are the whites during the civil rights movement. A significan majority of whites around the country opposed institutionalized racism, but were cowed by the Klan and local society and custom.

If you claim you have a majority of muslims who oppose the radicals, then you need leaders who are not afraid who will promote peace, not hate.

Dr. King led from the grassroots level attracting support.

The only people who appear to attract support in the muslim community are the haters. Could it be the religion itself that promotes this hate or is it a false teaching?

After all, one of the symbols on the Saudi flag is a sword, a source of pain and death.

The Christian symbol is a cross. It is a symbol of pain and death, but it is not the source of that pain and death.

yay, lets go to war against yet another foe
"But before such a development can take place, Hezbollah must be curbed in Lebanon and Ahmadinejad removed from power in Teheran - the latter as a first step toward complete dismantling of the Iranian clerical regime."

are you serious?
i guess i agree with Wesley here, its all in your own post, i give up (hope in the moderate muslim that is)

Episcopal Church Of Islam
Thats essentially what this group is promoting. Soon they'll be trying to get the OK for gay Imams or something. Muslims should reject this. This is just an attempt by the neocons to socially engineer Islam into a more politically correct form, so they can better assimilate muslim territory in their new "Democratic World Order".

They want to turn Islam into what most of Christianity is in the US. An empty public ritual that people think is more about "being nice" than actually believing in anything, or following what the doctrines of the faith actually are. Christianity in most of the US is a joke. Its more about being politically correct and catering to people's lifestyles than the word of God. This is the neocon dream religion. It makes people "feel good" and supports the state and pushes all the social doctrines that they want. This is what they want Islam to be.

The reason the US government and the neocons go after Islam so aggressively is because it is a threat to their dream of socializing the Middle East and creating "democracy" there. This is just another attempt at the same thing. Islam must be tamed and emasculated so the neocon social engineers can go in and manage the society the way they manage the society in the US.

While I understand your point of view ...
... I don't agree.

If we do not succeed in creating a form of Islam that can be really tolerant, completely non-jihadist (without trying to lie about what the verses actually say about this, and getting rid of the offensive ones), we are going to be fighting a very hot war for a long time.

Just as Christianity got out of its nightmare -- and the one it inflicted on the Jews and Protestants of Europe, and the Muslims and native animists on multiple continents -- Islam can do the same. In fact, the example of the FLEXIBILITY of Christianity serves very well here.

Christianity responded to a set of human rights mores that transcendended its own of the time. In favor, it finally went straight back to the compassion of Jesus, which allowed it to "jump" the strictures placed on it by some Popes -- ably aided by rampant bubonic plague and the fears that came with it, and strengthened by religious wars in both major Abrahamic religions of the time. Christianity responded to the Enlightenment beautifully and became, arguably, one of the greatest forces for healing and good the world has ever seen. So rather than try to dismiss the problems Christianity had in the past, it's actually very liberating to have a close look at how bad it got, and what they did about it.

Reform and progressive Muslims argue that the ulema has all this reversed. The general tradition is Islam is to take a later Islamic verse on any subject as being more valid than the previous one. This is a terrible mistake. Because it means that the more warlike verses, the jihadist verses, the War verses, the "global conquest" verses -- which are all found in the Medinan verses of the Qur'an and the ahaditha -- trump the peaceful, transcendental, mystical verses of love, forgiveness, compassion and equality that characterize the Meccan verses of the Qur'an (mostly).

I have heard said of late that there will be issued by some people who will then run for the lives (!) a "Transcendental Qur'an" that contains ONLY these verses and proclaims all the rest inimical to Islam.

In fact, it is in this way that the world's vast majority "Secular Islamic" population now lives. Bin Laden calls for them to rise up and kill the infidel, and he gets no response. Why? Because most Muslim already live as if the War Verses and the almost completely spurious ahaditha are completely unIslamic anyway.

The trick is that such an attitude has to become a sort of "ninth" house of Islamic law and theology.

That is going to be a hard sell. But with more than 6 million Muslims converting to Christianity every year, eventually it's going to dawn on these backwards imams that they rant thought they will, they are losing strength.

And certainly many will fight to the death to prevent Islam from re-creating itself in the same way that the Roman Catholic Church abolished its blame of the Jews, many of its hostile attitudes toward women (though I would say they have a ways to go), and their assault on the native populations (such as the Inquisitions against South American tribes).

I could not disagree more with your characterization of Americans and neo-cons, and I know not a single American, and certainly not a single neo-con who is in favor of "emasculating" the Middle East. It is interesting that you use a sexual term for this, as one of the problems in Islam is that many of its men look through a lens of effectively controlling the sexuality of women. Therefore, when they look out at the world, any enemy is seen as trying to "emasculate" them. Time to step back for a good, long look at what is sex, what is religion, and what is lust for power. And to make a serious attempt to get all three disconnected from each other so that all three can become healthier.

All the neo-cons I read have one thing in common: they are looking for a "good neighborly" Islam that really **IS** peaceful, doesn't just pretend to be peaceful. I think that is a worthy goal and a benefit to Islam.

Most Muslims have such "face" problem about this that any criticism of Islamic systems, even to the point of terrorist attacks, is seen as a personal afront to themselves. Often they cry that one is insulting their religion, and that is patently ridiculous. It's not the religion that is being assaulted by Westerners who refuse to take bombings, beheadings, stonings, amputations and the beatings and rapes of women lying down. That behavior, and the specific verses that call for it or allow it, is what is being challenged here, and you can expect that to continue. And that is of the GREATEST possible help to Muslims as they are beleaguered by systems that punish people into submission rather than disseminating the kind of mystical beauty and wisdom found at the base of the Meccan Qur'anic verses.

In fact, it is the greatest cowardice of the American Muslim community that instead of rising up against the real bad -- the terrorists -- they whine for special treatment and scream "Discrimination!" after they set up US Airways with 6 of the 7 "trigger" activities that portend an imminent terrorist attack. And who were they busted by? US Airways? No. A Muslim sitting in the aft of the aircraft went to US Airways authorities to tell them that these "imams" were chattering about how much they loved the 9/11 attacks ... in Arabic.

But, of course, it's easier to play these games and pretend you're a good Muslim than to fight the jihadists who may, in the end, destroy Islam by making it a religion unwelcome in every civilized country in the world. Most countries now are incredibly reluctant to accept any Muslim immigrant from any place in the world, and they are wise to take that attitude so long as U.S. Muslims allow the Saudis to turn their mosques, as long as the Shi'a community in Dearborn lets their kids sidle up to the likes of Mesha'll and Ahmadinejad, and as long as the rants of imams in US mosques draw the criminals and misfits out of American prisons to Islam, where they can exoneration and excuse for bullying women and punishing white people.

So, it's up the Muslim community, but the Secular Islam Summit was a good start, and I hope people reward their efforts with stunning donations of money to help them start to create a Transcendental Islam by which Muslim people worldwide can free themselves from the arrogant, vicious imams who run whole countries behind the scenes and force the contribution of trillions of dollars to subjugate, re-subjugate, punish, frighten, intimidate, maim and kill Muslims, who are always their first targets.

Perhaps these imams target the West, but they do so only occasionally, only to make the West back off long enough that they can complete drive an intelligent, thriving, good-natured Muslim worldwide community back in the 7th century by sword, by burning, by amputating, by threatening wives and daughters with rape, and by taking the minds of Muslim young with a kind of education not seen since the Third Reich.

You don't seem to have realized yet that many in the West look on the travail of the ordinary Muslim and see a fellow human being in agony. In that misperception, a very great deal is going wrong in you assessment of who is your friend and who is your enemy.

Actually, there are very devout Muslims ...
... who are totally dedicated as believers and very much "out there" to try to effect a transformation.

Please go look at the videos I link in my first post above. You'll see both sides of this question. It's actually an incredible interview with a number of people who support a separation of church and state and who are very fine Muslims, and completely devout and dedicated to their religion. They just don't want the Wahhabi of the radical Twelver Shi'a way.

You have almost instantly..

You have almost instantly become on of my favorite posters.

Thank you.

Please write more, every chance you get.

Mr. Schwartz would do well to read you and learn from you. While he may be able to lay claim to being more of an 'expert', he clearly has his own 'Sufi-pushing' agenda. He is an adamant opponent of all things wahabbi, but that doesn't mean he is not also a full-force promoter for and apologist of islam. "The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend', as the saying goes.

You, on the other hand, simply present well-spoken reasoning, intelligence, and something altogether more rare: reasonable hope.

Is it a shame that that is so breathtakingly refreshing?

If there were ten of you for every juan cole, this world might actually get somewhere.

Are You A Muslim?
If not, who the hell are you to say something like:

"If we do not succeed in creating a form of Islam that can be really tolerant, completely non-jihadist (without trying to lie about what the verses actually say about this, and getting rid of the offensive ones), we are going to be fighting a very hot war for a long time."

Just who are you to "get rid" of certain of their holy verses?

Your post PROVES my point. Islam is a threat to the "democratic world order" you people dream about and you want to socially engineer the muslim world to be more like christianity in the US, which you now approve of because it is "over its nightmare". I assume by "nightmare" you mean a time when people actually believed the word of God and took their faith seriously.

It seems you have an idea about what everyone else should be doing, and of course government violence plays a big part in all of your schemes. Its people like you that are the problem.

Thank you ... and ...

I will say something in defense of Sufism. If you go back and read some of the greatest literature in Islam -- or in poetry itself -- you will find it is Sufi. Among the great works are the poetry of Rumi and the woman mystic poet Ruby'a (amazing!). And then you find in the comparable Ibn al Arabi, and the famous poetic statement of transcendent religious truth:

My heart has become capable of every form:
it is a pasture for gazelles and a convent for Christian monks,
and a temple for idols and the pilgrim's Kaa'ba,
and the tables of the Torah and the book of the Quran.
I follow the religion of Love: whatever way Love's camels take me,
that is my religion and my faith.

Ibn al-`Arabi, Tarjuman al-Ashwaq, in The Mystics of Islam, translated by Reynold A Nicholson

Of all the forms of Islam, I believe that Sufism, Sunni and Shi'a, are the closest to making this jump.

But you are right that they will not give up the two things prevent any religion from transcending itself to a new form, at least in a patriarchal world like this one:

(1) a supremacity attitude toward other religions
(2) those tenets that give them control of women

There is a Hindu myth about a man crossing the sea to enlightment. He insists upon taking his cabbages with him. When the pilot of the boat tells him the boat will sink if he tries to take this baggage along with him, he complains that he must have it. Unable to convince him other, the man loads the boat full of his cabbages, and on the way to the bright land the boat sinks.

There is baggage that Islam cannot take with it, the Sufis included. If they try to take it, they can't make it, and, in the end, Islam's only hope will only have assisted the insane fundamentalist wing in destroying the religion.

The problem was exposed in sharp relief by the life and death of the Naqshbandi Sufi Konca Kouris, who was women's rights advocate. She was not killed by the Naqshbandis themselves. She was killed by Turkish Hizbollah (a Sunni group not related to Shi'a Lebanese/Syrian Hizbollah). They tortured her for 38 days, moved her around the country folded up inside a sofabed, eventually smothered her to death, and then poured oil over her body to hide the smell of decomposition. Eventually she was bured in a mass grave filled with dissidents. Her brother review the tapes of her torture, because her husband couldn't do it. She had been kidnapped off her front lawn in front her screaming 5-year-old son.

Konca Kouris decried the chauvinism inside the Naqshbandi community and denomination. Knowing that she could die, she left a will and in it she requested that at her funeral her 17-year-old daughter would be allowed in the front of the mosque to hear services read for her. The Naqshbandis refused this request, and her daughter was expelled to the back, told to get in her place.

Konca Kouris was 38 years old when she died. And even in the face of her torture and death -- and again I stress that the Naqshbandis themselves had NOTHING TO DO with her death-- the Naqshbandi community in Turkey would not relent a barbaric tradition to allow he daughter to stand as her mother had wished.

This all far from over, but a few well-placed enlightened imams and clerics, like the one in Egypt who avowed women's rights BASED ON THE QUR'AN and attached the nationhood of Egyptian to the liberation of women, will make all the difference.

But as long as men sit on long robes and fantastical hats pondering the fate of women who are not allowed to speak for themselves, to preach in mosques, to even BE in the same place as men, who are told at dinner to shut up until they're given permission to speak, who are told when to marry and whose children don't even belong to them, there is little hope that Islam can change.

In fact, Sufism is leaned on heavily in Indonesia now to support the retention of the Pancasila doctine of state pluralism against a rising tide of jihadist threat.

There is no imagining what Sufism could do if it gave up it's shari-a pushing and its cleaving to doctrines hostile to half the population of the world.

I will say it again: the lynch-pin holding together radical Islam is the selling of women by religion to men. That, and a penchant for screaming, "We're the last! the last word of God!"

The problems here pride and a lust for control of sex.

No Subject

I would suggest to you, mpeino, that the Roman Catholic Church does not look upon the Inquisition with fond eyes. It does not long for the days when people were burned at the stake and crucified, tortured in the cellars of cathedrals by having their genitals burned off and being stretched on racks until their spinal cord distintegrated in 4-7 places. Muslim of the future -- out of this nightmare you seem to be protecting with every shred of your being -- will look back on you with shame for not defending your religion from maniacs who behead people on international TV. You're an embarrassment to every Muslim who has to listen to safe, rich, protected Westerners who prance around manipulating instead of helping the other Muslims of the world to throw off radicalism.

It's an ugly, deceitful, unworthy act of false piety that costs those who have to live under horrific regimes and evil leaders who quote them Qur'an while they make their lives hell.

Actually, it's no matter whether I'm a Muslim or not, because it's Muslims who are arguing for this point of view and Muslim theorists who are engaged in creating a future where Islam is healthy for its religionists and benign for the world.

And, in fact, only Muslims can really solve the problem, and fortunately there are a great many who see right through you arrogance in telling me when and where I can speak. (Gee, where have I heard that before?!)

But left to those of other religions are two things:

(1) Muslims lost the right to tell us who are moderates and who are not when failed to show up on the National Mall and decry terrorism. If they had, THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN OVER THE WEEKEND AFTER 9/11. Had Muslims not played smug, ever-so better-than ego games around this, American Islam could have shut down Osama bin Laden and the Saudi Wahhabis in three days. Had 3 million Muslims hit the Washington Mall and demanded that Aghanistan and Pakistan and Saudi Arabia hand over Bin Laden and Mullah Omar, and that the Wahhabis resign as the state religion of Saudi Arabia, it would have been over in a week.

But now, you guys will lucky if it's over in 100 years, you will be lucky if you get a visa to any country that's not suffering 90% desertification, and you'll be lucky if the United States drops food on your countries once switchgrass and sugar cane ethanol replace the 5% foreign oil we're forced (but not for long) to import. Saudi officials have ready told the Bush administration that if we stop buying their oil, we will need to take over feeding them. Oh, yeah, right. So if you are not seeing the writing on the wall, I would suggest that you start reading MIT plasma physics releases, because every time you read them you hear the clocking ticking down to zero on the Muslim oil wealth. By the time you find your spine and stand up to the radicals, every major Muslim country in the world running on oil revenues is going to be bankrupt and regretting not taking some of that fantastic and drilling for water and planting crops rather than funneling it to radical jihadists who have bought the outright lie that killing impresses Allah to give you babes you can deflower any time you want.

Meanwhile, you are so out of it that you can't recognize even the people of other countries who try to help you find a solution.

Well, that's all right. I don't waste any time anymore trying to talk sense into people who've left their reason behind for base gains.

(2) Americans are no longer listening to you with any trust at all. The listen to the Muslims who are working to solve the problem, not to those of you prancing around pretending you know more about spirituality than the people who have long since transcending beheadings, stonings, amputations, burnings, and terrorism to get what they can't possibly get in an election.

Shari'a law is NEVER voted in. It's manipualted, it's forced by terror and violence and the promise of ever more terror and violence.

And Muslims stream to the West for freedom, only to find, as Schwartz points out, their mosques infected with radicalism bought from imams willing to sell their solds to this Devil, paid for by oil money that will, if I have anything to do with it (and I do), disappear from the face of this earth.

You have my word for that.

And one more pertinent fact ...

In Iraq last year, 16,791 people were killed in the violence there. That's Iraqi citizens.

281 were killed in attacks by Iraqi police and American soldiers looking for terrorists.

The other 16,510 were killed by Sunni violence (mostly) and some by Shi'as, a rising problem since the Sunnis blew the mosque at Samarra.

I was not in favor of the war in Iraq on balance, but I did understand why the Shi'a in the United States had lobbied the US government for 25 **YEARS** to take out Saddam. He was not known as the Butcher of Baghdad for nothing.

However, if you think we're going to put up with attacks on trains in Madrid and London, skyscrapers in New York, watch night club goers be incinerated in Bali, watch school girls be burned to death in Jeddah, and watch a corrupt Nigerian paid the Saudis butcher gays, and the NIF in Sudan (also 100% funded by the Saudis) exterminate -- that's EXTERMINATE -- moderate Muslims, Christians and animists ... well, you've got another think coming.

Because we're not going stand idly by while you destroy our people and our culture simply because you think that as you are commiting debased violence, done for the love and power of it, that somehow if you quote the Qur'an we're just going to let you off.

This religion has a MAJOR, MAJOR, MAJOR problem in that it has reversed its hermeneutics from waht is logical and it has suffered immensely from the introduction of the ahaditha which almost completely written by people seeking political power, much after the fact of the Prophet's (pbuh) death.

I am a better Muslim than you are, and I'm not even a Muslim.

Stand up! Take your religion back from the terrorists before other nations and peoples have to shut you or out or fights battles with you that you will lose.

And understand this: Everybody in this government now knows that the financial battle is the real one, and there is tremendous effort now in getting off oil. You don't have as much time as you think to solve this problem.

mpeino ... what is wrong with democracy???

You have a problem with that?

Actualy, Yes
So now why don't you post another 15-20 paragraphs of glib socialist bullcrap telling me what a reactionary I am and how I need to be "re-educated" to fit more perfectly into the world order you and your neocon friends are trying to design.

And just so you know I am not a muslim, but I do sympathize with them for having to put up with the type of arrogant politically correct preaching that people like you seem to want to subject them to. Just leave people alone. Leave muslims alone. Leave me alone. Mind your own business.

mpeino, take your own advise
Rather than looking like an a$$ when someone points out the problems and changes Islam needs, you should remain quiet and learn something. The violence and oppression that too much of modern Islam represents is not a reaction to anything; it is pure aggression.

Sorry, no Islamic group, government, or people has been attacked in the past 40 years, unless it is by another Arab/Islamic group or country. All of them, including the Hizbollah in Lebanon and Hammas in Gaza began the death and destruction.

It is not the so-called "Neocons" nor the Americans, Europeans, or Israelis that are the problem here. It is radical Islam. islamic moderates need to recognize this and help eliminate them from positions of religious and politicqal power.

I would say ...
... that you are someone I think I might know. I hope not, since it means that you're living in my country and trying to undermine its democracy. And as far as "socialist bullcrap" goes, I think the socialist position is the anti-democratic, wouldn't you say.

I'm not trying to design some new world order. I would say that radical Islamism, assisted by the Left and the press, are trying to do that.

I did not address you. You addressed me. And as far as "minding my own business" here's the rub:

The world and all her people are my family. Therefore, all of it is EVERYBODY's business. What happens to the world is everyone's business. The debate is open ... until totalitarian regimes try to squelch the conversation with violence ... or trying to proscribe for others (as you do to me) what they may and may not say. It's deciding who may speak (acoording to you that would be you, but not me).

And you seem to be desperately confused. I'm a socialist with neo-con friends? When is the last time you saw that happen? ;]

So, from this I take it that you don't know what you are talking about on any political level at all and are just flailing now that you are so angry that a non-Muslim American woman (OH GAWD!!!) thinks she has the right to get on a blog and talk about the world's most aggressive religiopolitical system run by men whose major purpose in life is seeing if they can jackboot the nearest woman. And, there are some out there in the hinterlands who hate our culture so much (that's OK, I hate some of it, too) that they would be happy to see the radical Muslims beat every woman on earth into a burqa just to see the USA get kicked hard. That's not very intelligent, nor very humane. You may not like United States, but I don't see that as a reason for you sleep with the devil (radicals, not ordinary Muslims) so you can have a little vengeance.

Want me to shut up? No. In a word, no.

You don't own this website and you don't get to order others around. People in this country, and on this website may speak freely whether you like it or not.

We won't be giving up the right.

Unreasonable Demands, Unreasonable Accommodations!
We have to be very wary of fundamentalist Muslims, who are outnumbering moderate or secular Muslims 9 to 1, in North America and Europe making a lot of unreasonable demands and forcing the politicians and blinded liberals to offer up...nay... give away unreasonable accommodations to them without the general consensus of the wider society (that is non-Muslim voting public!).

There are actual Muslims and those in CAIR who believe the Qu'ran should be the highest authority over the U.S. Constitution and that sharia laws should replace all the current laws in America. That mean all women, non-Muslim and Muslim, must be veiled completely from head to toe; religious minorities are to be restricted and taxed; total segregation by gender and religion; all children are required to read the Qu'ran, and nothing else but only the Qu'ran, from birth and on up until they're ready for regular schooling. Anyone who break sharia law get canned, flogged, amputated, whipped or beheaded.

Like the rest of us are all ready to goes back to the 14th century and enjoy the medieval perks and privileges under Islam? I say hell no!

If there's no reformation within Islam, there's no hope for Islam.

Say NO to Islam.

Not in the name of Islam
Excuse me. Mr Schwartz is promoting his organization as the only one representing moderate Islam. But didn't CAIR put forward a petition back in 2004, urging that Muslims turn away from violence? What about "Not in the name of Islam"?

"“We, the undersigned Muslims, wish to state clearly that those who commit acts of terror, murder and cruelty in the name of Islam are not only destroying innocent lives, but are also betraying the values of the faith they claim to represent. No injustice done to Muslims can ever justify the massacre of innocent people, and no act of terror will ever serve the cause of Islam. We repudiate and dissociate ourselves from any Muslim group or individual who commits such brutal and un-Islamic acts. We refuse to allow our faith to be held hostage by the criminal actions of a tiny minority acting outside the teachings of both the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him."

CAIR is a mainstream Muslim organization, orders of magnitude larger than the Center for Islamic Pluralism. The petition has raised over a half million signatures. What is the point of making it appear as though this existing organization for moderate Islam doesn't exist?

A couple of questions
"We have to be very wary of fundamentalist Muslims, who are outnumbering moderate or secular Muslims 9 to 1, in North America and Europe making a lot of unreasonable demands and forcing the politicians and blinded liberals to offer up..."

What is your source that fundamentalist Muslims outnumber moderate Muslims nine to one? I'd like to take a look at the poll's methodology, if it is in fact a poll, or read the wording if it id just someone's opinion.

Also, what are the chances that "politicians and blinded liberals" are going to make sharia law the law of the land in the United States? Fifty-fifty? One in a million? My guess would be zero.

That being the case, what's your worry?

Separation of mosque and state
Too bad the ACLU doesn't apply its energy to separate mosque and state.

ACLU faces a conundrum with Islam as its holy book IS a constitution.

How can they defend a minority religion who wants to supplant the US Constitution with the Koran?

Actions speak louder than words.
But of course you believe that the ACLU defends everyone's Constitutional rights? Except the 2nd amendment.

But CAIR jumps to the defense of any muslim, especially those are sympathetic to radical Islam.

"The incident prompted the Council on American-Islamic Relations and officials for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Washington to call Tuesday for Congressional hearings on racial profiling and an investigation by the Justice Department and the Transportation Security Administration."

"Allahu Akbar" was just the opening act. After boarding, they did not take their assigned seats but dispersed to seats in the first row of first class, in the midcabin exit rows and in the rear--the exact configuration of the 9/11 execution teams. The head of the group, seated closest to the cockpit, and two others asked for a seatbelt extension, kept on board for obese people. A heavy metal buckle at the end of a long strap, it can easily be used as a lethal weapon. The three men rolled them up and placed them on the floor under their seats. And lest this entire incident be written off as simple cultural ignorance, a frightened Arabic-speaking passenger pulled aside a crew member and translated the imams' suspicious conversations, which included angry denunciations of Americans, furious grumblings about U.S. foreign policy, Osama Bin Laden and "killing Saddam.""

Give me a break
"But of course you believe that the ACLU defends everyone's Constitutional rights? Except the 2nd amendment."

Did I say anything like this? I don't think I did.

"But CAIR jumps to the defense of any muslim, especially those are sympathetic to radical Islam."

CAIR stands for the civil rights of Muslims in precisely the same way the NAACP stands for the rights of black people. Both are very middle of the road, moderate organizations.

As for the details of the incident, I think those are, on the basis of your two articles, a little up in the air. It sounds like the imams were acting suspiciously, justifying the grounding of the plane. It also sounds like they were questioned and then released.

Were their civil rights violated? I have no opinion there. Was the flight crew justified in their actions? I would say yes.

marjon-- The ACLU doesn't seem to have been mentioned either in the article or in the Whupper's comment. What relevance does it have to the discussion?

Also, you appear to be under the impression, not expressly here but in various comments you have made, that CAIR endorses the replacement of the US Constitution with the Quran. Can you show me your reference?

Or are you just mixing everything up into a blur?

" Both are very middle of the road, moderate organizations."
They are in the middle of the very far left lane of the road.

Again, actions speak louder than words.

I have observed little proof that CAIR or NAA(L)CP are anything but moderate organizations.

Maybe you had better define 'moderate'.

You're A Totalitarian
You may not realize it, but you are. If you had an understanding of history you would realize that you are using the EXACT SAME rhetoric the Soviets used.

"he world and all her people are my family. Therefore, all of it is EVERYBODY's business. What happens to the world is everyone's business."

Right, so by this logic there will not be peace until the world is under one political order, which is what you want. And of course to achieve this the US government is going to have to bomb, kill and occupy all the "backward" countries, to make the world safe for women's rights and democracy and global warming climate controls or whatever other politically correct cause you want to impose on everyone.

And of course, what you are really saying is everything in the world is YOUR business, because you certainly don't acknowledge the right of anyone else to tell the US government how to behave, nor would you acknowledge that the US government itself is a huge problem for the world. You certainly don't think I have a right to say what I think, because I'm "undermining democracy" just by speaking my mind. This is how socialism operates. Maybe you are just too ignorant of history to understand what you are, and where your ideas, which seem so revolutionary and wonderful to you, are going.

When radicals attack us, it's our business.

It's also our responsibility not to let every woman in the world get slashed about by an ideology that has taken Islam away from religion and into entrenched desert tribalism.

Abuse of women ****is**** backward. But I'm sorry. You're too stupid for me to talk to. You know nothing and get nothing. And if you think "global warming" doesn't exist, then get this. If the earth is an apple, the entire atmosphere from the earth's crust to the top of the stratosphere constitute the depth of the apple's skin. A word to the wise.

But meanwhile, I have no intention of ever allowing anyone as hostile, educated, and muddy-thinking as you ot influence me about anything.

Besides, looks like the totalitarian bully in here is you -- bossing everyone around, saying who may speak and who may not.

Find a mirror. Then get a brain.


CAIR ...

CAIR was begun as "HAMAS in the United States".

Senior CAIR employee Randall Todd Royer, a/k/a “Ismail” Royer, pled guilty and was sentenced to twenty years in prison for participating in a network of militant jihadists centered in Northern Virginia. He admitted to aiding and abetting three persons who sought training in a terrorist camp in Pakistan for the purpose of waging jihad against American troops in Afghanistan. Royer’s illegal actions occurred while he was employed with CAIR.

CAIR's Director of Community Relations, Bassem Khafagi , was arrested by the United States due to his ties with a terror-financing front group. Khafagi pled guilty to charges of visa and bank fraud, and agreed to be deported to Egypt. Khafagi’s illegal actions occurred while he was employed by CAIR.

On December 18, 2002, Ghassan Elashi, founding board member of CAIR-Texas, a founder of the Holy Land Foundation, and a brother-in-law of Musa Abu Marzook , was arrested by the United States and charged with, among other things,making false statements on export declarations, dealing in the property of a designated terrorist organization, conspiracy and money laundering. Ghassan Elashi committed his crimes while working at CAIR, and was found Guilty.

CAIR Board Member Imam Siraj Wahaj, an un-indicted co-conspirator in the first World Trade Center bombing,
has called for replacing the American government with an Islamic caliphate, and warned that America will crumble unless it accepts Islam.

Rabih Haddad served as a CAIR Fundraiser. Haddad was co-founder of the Global Relief Foundation (“GRF”).
GRF was designated by the US Treasury Department for financing the Al Qaida and other terrorist organizations and its assets were frozen by the US Government on December 14, 2001.

Consistent with Hamas ideology, CAIR has served as a conduit for the distribution of materials and funds from foreign nationals to groups and institutions within the United States for the purpose of promoting radical Islam and Hamas ideology, and attacked Islamic clerics and scholars who reject radical Islam and the Hamas agenda.

CAIR consistently attacks every single moderate imam, every single Muslim who speaks out against terrorism. If you don't think so, go read up on Zudhi Jasser.


When they stop suing teenagers for singing Silent Night, I'll have some respect for them.

"It's also our responsibility not to let every woman in the world get slashed about by an ideology that has taken Islam away from religion and into entrenched desert tribalism."

It is? Why? Where does it say in the constitution that this is the job of the US government?

When radicals attack US, it is our business.
When sovereign states abuse their people, how much responsibility do we have?

Do we violate the borders of sovereign states so women don't have to where an abya?

While it could be argued women's rights are violated in the Saudi Arabia, they are also violated in the USA.

From what I observed in Saudi Arabia, many women have a much easier life than in the USA in many respects.

The USA can certainly be critical of other sovereign states regarding treatment of their citizens. The USA can grant them sanctuary. But the only way to change the culture is from within.

The earth is an apple?
If global warming exists does global cooling exist?

The point is climates change and will always change. Why does it change?

Five thousand years ago wounded man died crossing a mountain pass. A few years ago, the ice and snow that accumulated for thousands of years melted back to the point of 5000 years ago to uncover him.

So the climate there is warming to the point is WAS 5000 years ago. Why was it that warm 5000 years ago?

So how do you fix something if you don't know how it works?

According to his honor, Judge Roy Bean
this is "moderate" behaviour.... you know, whatever it takes to "bring down the Man, man."

Thanks, Gazelles, for bringing some acute knowledge on the subject to this wanting place.

You tell that to roy_dhimmibean
Try telling that to roy_dhimmibean. He's a blatant dyed-in-the-wool-over-his-eyes liberal sticking his head in the sand and let his own arse do the talking/posting for him.

People don't know how cancer works ... but quit smoking anyhow

This is hard to get, I know, but here's the problem:

There are certain kinds of things we put in the air, particularly CO2, that trap heat. Now the earth has a certain amount of CO2 that it can reabsorb and deal with as a cycle. If we exceed that, we get a net increase in latent heat and in infrared radiation trapping from the earth.

The bottom line is this: There are 12 parameters that control climate. Nine of them we can't have any effect on at all, and so when people say global warming is our fault, I tend to say, "Well, thank God for that, because we can do something about it." Or, if it's orbit, we're done for.[s]

There has been a lot of politics on both sides of this issue, but since I am an environmental management grad student at any Ivy League university I feel I've had the chance to look at the data over time. I tend to be much more conservative politically and as a scientist than those I work with. But having held out as long as I could, I have to admit, we are a people now 6 billion strong, consuming everything on the planet very rapidly, and the CO2 we're pouring into the atmosphere is too much.

Now, the neat thing is that the solutions to all three of our worst problems -- environment, terrorist, and the national debt/balance of payments problem -- are all the oil: GET THE HELL OFF OIL.

The political craziness on both sides will go on. But the simple truth is that we could better if we lived more wisely. It isn't a case of doing without something -- as will be evidende with some books coming out later this year -- and there are lot of solutions.

Personally, I think the terrorism issue is the one I put on top, but there is a kind of unraveling going on in the climate system that makes me want to deal with it very, very cautiously now.

The Lorenz Fractal, the model of the earth's climate, has an unpredictability dimension. Some people think because they are say that we can never say for sure, it gives them leeway to screw around becuase, hey, it' unpredictable.

That's exactly why you need to be more, rather than less, worried about people pouring things into the oceans, rivers and air that we don't really understand. The unpredictability fractal dimension (and it's an EXPONENTIAL dimension) means that you can screw around a little bit and have enormous impact.

If you'd like to the Chaos Butterly in action, go to this webpage. No matter how many times you reload this, it will never draw the same model twice. That's because MINUTE changes in input change everything.

I am only urging caution because of the iterative mathematics involved with this system. Mostly, however, I am urging caution to those who think that the planet can sustain 8.5 or more people by 2050. That is not something that is "unpredictable." The simple fact is that it can't. Which dooms 1/3 of the population to too little food or too little water by that time.

I hope this helps.

That explains everything: " I am an environmental management grad student at any Ivy League universi
Such arrogance. I guess that's what they teach at Ivy League schools?

"There are certain kinds of things we put in the air, particularly CO2, that trap heat. Now the earth has a certain amount of CO2 that it can reabsorb and deal with as a cycle. If we exceed that, we get a net increase in latent heat and in infrared radiation trapping from the earth."

Why was it warmer 5000 years ago before WE put the CO2 in the air?

Please explanin this oh wise one.

And BTW, there IS a limit to amount of partial pressure of CO2 in the ATM. If that limit is reached, it will add something like 6K to the temperature?
Maybe you should pay attention to Professor Lindzen at MIT. I guess that doesn't count since it is NOT IVY league.

Based upon this data, CO2 does not correlate with temperture at all:

"I am only urging caution because of the iterative mathematics involved with this system. "

What will happen if the Kyoto treaty were implemented? How will that affect climate? Will it affect climate if the cause is cosmic radiation? As you say, remove one molecule of CO2 and the entire outcome changes.

And speaking of dooming the population, that was modeled once as well and found lacking.

Check out ancient history: Limits to Growth and Models of Doom. They prove your point that well developed models are difficult to obtain no matter how big your computer is. GIGO, only faster.

What I think the scientific community needs to be very careful about is being wrong, especially about impending doom. Ever hear of the boy who cried wolf?
According to the science 30 years ago, we should now be in an ice age. Fool me once shame on you.

Scientists have a very steep hill to climb to convince me. Using Al Gore as a poster child definintly does NOT help.

I agree and like the article. We need more voices like this in the debate. Our political leadership could learn some things by following this agenda into peacefully building political coalitions in this country. Cut out the personal attacks and get down to the best interest of the country.
Politicians set the political mood in this country by devide and conquer tactics not unlike the radical Muslims.(minus the violence)

Best interests of the country? Okay...
1. Kick CAIR out of the US.

2. Kick out the gun-control nuts.

3. Kick out the anti-American radicals.

4. Kick out the United Nations and their trashes.

5. Kick out the ACLU.

6. Kick out the globalization-loving politicians

7. Kick out the globalists, too.

8. Kick out the deranged far leftists.

9. Kick out the organizations that doesn't really represent (or at least pretend to represent) the United States of America and its values.

10. Problems solved in the best interests of the country.

Lovely day, isn't it?

Moderates will kill you.
"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

Barry Goldwater

There are prerequisites for negotiations. One would be complete agreement that the US Constitution must be followed and that violence is not an option.

Don't forget, there were communist supporters in the US government in the 50s.

"CAIR stands for the civil rights of Muslims in precisely the same way the NAACP stands for the rights of black people. Both are very middle of the road, moderate organizations."

This is funny. Thanks for the hard laugh...

I would hate to see what you call leftwing?

Neocon Rubbish
Conspiricy nut? Neocons? Come on.

Empty rituals? Maybe you should go see how serious the Mormons take it. Been to the South? I used to live there. They take it very serious.

Oh I forgot, anyone not living in the NE or West Coast is a Redneck ignorant...

As to the US and Islam, well I suppose if blowing themselves up and teaching kids Jihad is better than encouraging some reforms.

The Center For Sufi Surrealism
Meanwhile , back on the front page in the real world :

Between Black and Immigrant Muslims, an Uneasy Alliance
James Estrin/The New York Times
The New York Times: March 11, 2007

Under the glistening dome of a mosque on Long Island, hundreds of men sat cross-legged on the floor. Many were doctors and engineers born in Pakistan and India. Dressed in khakis, polo shirts and the odd silk tunic, they fidgeted and whispered.
Skip to next paragraph
Distant Brothers
Bridging a Divide
Muslims in America: Healing the RiftInteractive Feature
Muslims in America: Healing the Rift
An Imam in America: A Cleric’s Journey Leads to a Suburban Frontier (January 28, 2007)
Faith and War: From Head Scarf to Army Cap, Making a New Life (December 15, 2006)
Sorting Out Life as Muslims and Marines (August 7, 2006)
As Police Watch for Terrorists, Brooklyn Muslims Feel the Eyes (May 27, 2006)
Enlarge This Image
James Estrin/The New York Times

Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid at a rally against profiling.

One thing stood between them and dinner: A visitor from Harlem was coming to ask for money.

A towering black man with a gray-flecked beard finally swept into the room, his bodyguard trailing him. Wearing a long, embroidered robe and matching hat, he took the microphone and began talking about a different group of Muslims, the thousands of African-Americans who have found Islam in prison.

“We are all brothers and sisters,” said the visitor, known as Imam Talib....

All muslims not created equal
The Saudis claim to be the REAL muslims.

Saudi Arabia has many ethnic groups as citizens. Many from Arfica. However, they could never be officers in their military.

Sure, they are all brothers and sisters, from a dysfunctional family.

My goodness, you need both an education and manners ...
Tell me something,does have advanced degrees in atmospheric physics somehow disqualify one from speaking with so exalted an expert as you???


Folks, never trust someone who doesn't cite references. Here is a basic, but very good primer, from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute on the subject. Please read for yourself to avoid being taken in by Junk Science, which is aptly named as it is written by junk scientists. The primer here is from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution:

Also, to note, 2005 was the highest mean earth temperature in one MILLION years.

Global warming is probably a term that shouldn't be used. Global climate change really indicates extremes based on the iterative, fractal-dimension of CO2 emissions which have no balancing reflective capability in the stratosphere, which happens with volcanic eruptions. What it means is that we'll have terrible extremes -- like the terribly droughts the governments of Spain and Australia already know they will have, heavier snow storms, stronger tornadoes and hurricanes.

I am the only card-carrying Republican in my department, and interestingly enough, my friends and colleagues don't seem to have any problem listening to my point of view when I challenge their data or conclusions.

The people who seem to have a problem with sane management of climate -- which we must do as there are so many of us now -- and resources for the health of the species. American chemical companies alone create more than 6,000 chemicals a week, and some of those find their way into the air you and your kids breathe, the water you drink and bathe in, the food you eat, and the UV rays you soak up that no sunscreen can even touch.

A good scientist is one that just looks at the data and does her or his best to make the fairest possible assessment. As in all times, when one says something that is unpopular because it is, as in this case, simply frightening, there's always some crazy who wants to burn you at the stake for it.

So, right now we have the radicals on the Left that want to simply pull the plug and go running back to the Stone Age (as if that were pleasant!) or you have the radicals on the Right who want to say there's nothing to it at all, bought and paid for by the industries that pollute and pass the damage, the health problems, and the taxes for clean-up along to the very people they've already poisoned. Talk about adding insult to injury: not only do you get to have a cancer rate 9 times that your grandmother had, you get to pay the tax $$$ to clean up the superfund sites they wrote off on their last return as "a loss".

Wise up. It's difficult science, but the scientific community has a responsibility to warn you about what's happening so you can defend yourself and your family. So you can demand that car makers get that extra 5% out of the tank so that we can stop buying the oil sold by our enemies -- Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela (17% of the foreign oil we buy).

As I said before, our three worst problems -- environment (and the health problems it carries), terrorism ($1b a day of our deficit goes to the enemies of our country) and the balance of payments deficit ($2b a day, the paper being held by the Chinese who could bankrupt us tomorrow, but who don't becuase they want to bleed the giant of every last ounce of blood before watching him fall on his face).

Al Gore is, BTW, not the poster child for anyone I know.

Arrogance is as arrogance does.
I have made no claims of "who I am".

The reference I provided, while posted on Junkscience, is from published literature as is nearly everything collected by that site.
This is one source of historical global temperature:

I would suggest there is significant disagreement in the scientific community regarding the entire AGW debate and what should be done about it.

"Like many others, I was personally sure that CO2 is the bad culprit in the story of global warming. But after carefully digging into the evidence, I realized that things are far more complicated than the story sold to us by many climate scientists or the stories regurgitated by the media. In fact, there is much more than meets the eye."

""The cause of this climate change is unknown," he states matter of factly. There is no basis for saying, as most do, that the "science is settled.""

From MIT's Lindzen:

"To show why I assert that there is no substantive basis for predictions of sizeable global warming due to observed increases in minor greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and chlorofluorocarbons, I shall briefly review the science associated with those predictions."

And there are many more.

But of course, since you need to kiss a$$ to get your degree, you must toe the party line.

And here is another interesting site:

Warnings must be based upon realistic risk assessments.
All the current 'warnings' are hyped for more money for research and for headlines.

I guess you don't remember "Limits to Growth" or "Models of Doom". Check them out sometime.

No Subject

Well, if it's a difference of opinion as to what the data means, then there is no sense in being rude, no? I think it's best to give all sides a hearing, and my own position is that I want nothing done which squelches debate. However, friends at the IPCC, some of whom have been in staunch disagreement for some time, find the evidence now incontrovertible. Personally I hope taht Dr. Lindzen continues to speak his mind, and that Dr. Lorenz does as well.

You might want just to know this: The Colorado science policy division has been long influenced by Dr. William Gray. It is because Dr. Gray steadfastly clung to the so-called "12 parameters" for so long, and refused to count latent heat rise as influential in hurricane development, particularly as it regards the loss of almost 40% of the world's glaciers in less than a century, NOAA pulled the climate modelling for hurricanes out of Gray's hands, Landsea -- long a critic of the IPCC and WMO reports -- split and is now in agreement, and our dear friend from Virginia, who makes the rounds of the TV shows, is not, in fact, an environmental scientists at all.

I think we will not agreeing, and I have no thought to spend my life in arguments with people that go nowhere.

Bet your Ivy League PhD on these statements being correct?
"Hundreds of millions of Africans and tens of millions of Latin Americans who now have water WILL be short of it in less than 20 years. By 2050, more than 1 billion people in Asia could face water shortages. By 2080, water shortages could threaten 1.1 billion to 3.2 billion people, depending on the level of greenhouse gases that cars and industry spew into the air.

_Death rates for the world's poor from global warming-related illnesses, such as malnutrition and diarrhea, WILL rise by 2030. Malaria and dengue fever, as well as illnesses from eating contaminated shellfish, are likely to grow.

_Europe's small glaciers WILL disappear with many of the continent's large glaciers shrinking dramatically by 2050. And half of Europe's plant species could be vulnerable, endangered or extinct by 2100.

_By 2080, between 200 million and 600 million people could be hungry because of global warming's effects.

_About 100 million people each year could be flooded by 2080 by rising seas.

_Smog in U.S. cities WILL worsen and "ozone-related deaths from climate WILL increase by approximately 4.5 percent for the mid-2050s, compared with 1990s levels," turning a small health risk into a substantial one.

_Polar bears in the wild and other animals WILL be pushed to extinction.

_At first, more food WILL be grown. For example, soybean and rice yields in Latin America WILL increase starting in a couple of years. Areas outside the tropics, especially the northern latitudes, WILL see longer growing seasons and healthier forests."
(I have emphasized the 'WILL's.)

Still haven't read "Limits to Growth" or "Models of Doom"?

How many of your colleages would bet their professional reputations on the above statements?

It is an easy bet for them because they either won't be alive to see if they were correct or they will claim their 'warnings' caused behaviour to change.

"But Simon provokes the question of whether such awareness can only come when the machine of capitalism is leading to constant innovation and developing newer techniques to extract and use resources. His thesis on population being the ultimate resource admittedly does depend on the capability of countries to build institutions that turn consumers into producers, but it is a thought-provoking argument nonetheless. "

As the Simon-Erlich bet pointed out, things change.
What will hit the market in the next ten years?

The US Military has a canteen that will accept any water, salt, muddy, brackish, and turn it into drinkable gator aid. So how will the world run out of water with 70% of the world covered in water?

Scientists should be very cautious about what they predict with very circumstantial evidence. If the current trend continues, scientists will be considered on par with politicians in the eyes of a decreasingly un-educated and skeptical public.

Difference of opinion leads to death threats
"Timothy Ball, a former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Canada, has received five deaths threats by email since raising concerns about the degree to which man was affecting climate change."

""Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves labelled as industry stooges.

"Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science."

Dr Myles Allen, from Oxford University, agreed. He said: "The Green movement has hijacked the issue of climate change. It is ludicrous to suggest the only way to deal with the problem is to start micro managing everyone, which is what environmentalists seem to want to do."

Nigel Calder, a former editor of New Scientist, said: "Governments are trying to achieve unanimity by stifling any scientist who disagrees. Einstein could not have got funding under the present system.""

Gonna have to agree
with Wesley. Gazelles is amazing and quite right on this issue.

In the words of my favorite Wesley (Willis): Gazelles whips a cheetah's ass!

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